The Richmond Register

Local News

September 3, 2011

Pie gathering to honor Stephen Jett and raise awareness about disease

RICHMOND — A Richmond family is hosting a pie gathering tomorrow in the memory of a lost loved one and is encouraging the community to support a certain type of medical research.

Lucy Jett Waterbury, daughter of Jett & Hall owner David Jett and the late Genie Jett, decided to host the pie gathering to represent her late brother Stephen’s favorite food.

Her mother and brother were diagnosed with a malignant glioblastoma brain tumor at the age of 38. Genie Jett passed away at the age of 41, and Lucy’s brother died Aug. 10, just weeks before his 41st birthday.

The pie gathering will be Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Richmond from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m..

Waterbury referred to the event as “... almost like a visitation. People can just visit and tell fun stories about Stephen.”

Those planning on attending are asked to bring their favorite pie in a disposable dish. Guests will be treated to a pie buffet, and all leftover pies will be donated to the Salvation Army.

The event will give attendees a chance to donate to two charities — Gilda’s Club of Louisville and the Michael Quinlan Brain Tumor Foundation, which both provide support to cancer patients.

Stephen Wheeler Jett lived in Louisville and was a patient at Jewish Hospital when he died.

“While we were told by the neurosurgeon who performed (her brother’s) craniotomy that this was merely a coincidence that my mother and brother would both suffer from a malignant brain tumor, I suspected differently,” Waterbury said.

“I decided to pursue my own research to find out if lightning could indeed randomly strike one family twice. What I found was something quite different. I found the International Gliogene Study. It appears that the National Institutes of Health had a hard time believing that multiple gliomas in one family were coincidental and decided to fund a study to attempt to make the human gliogene, if it exists.”

The majority of the population is unaware of the study, she said.

“Educating families and doctors, through media, that this study is in existence could change the lives of Kentuckians as we work towards letting more families know that this study exists,” Waterbury said.

Stephen was a graduate of Indiana University and enjoyed cycling, hiking, sailing, playing disc golf and was a nature lover, she said.

He also played several different musical instruments and was a member of the Lexington Singers.

“Special people change lives and my mother and brother were very special people,” Waterbury said. She encourages the community to partner with her “... to change more lives in the spirit of both of them.”

Those who cannot attend the pie gathering, but would like to donate to the two charities can send a donation to the following addresses:

• BIAK (Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky)

Michael Quinlan Brain Tumor Foundation

7410 New LaGrange Road, Suite 100

Louisville, KY 40222

• Gilda’s Club of Louisville

633 Baxter Avenue

Louisville, KY 40204

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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